About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital / Maxillo-Facial surgery

(as the patient),

I have been waiting for a maxillo-facial appointment for an impression to make a night splint for 3 months. The first appointment was booked on the day I was admitted, a month ago, for cancer surgery. I was given an appointment for a 'difficult procedure' said the message left on my answerphone, an extraction that couldn't be performed locally. I left a message with appointments (having cancelled the appointment that conflicted with my surgery whilst waiting to go into theatre ) when I came out of hospital. In my message, I explained that I had been told my impression could be done locally and there must be a poor person somewhere waiting for an extraction.

I was then called on Tuesday evening this week and given the appointment I had been waiting for today on Sunday at 3.40pm. I wasn't to be sent a letter as "this would be an insult to my intelligence as it would arrive after the appointment", so I wrote the time in my diary. Despite preparing myself and going to the hospital today, keen to get the procedure underway as I will need the splint to prevent sleep apnoea after my next surgery, I arrived for the appointment exactly one hour late. I couldn't believe it. No-one was there. I was absolutely devastated having paid for both transport and parking. I re-read my diary note and I had transposed the times in my mind and had fixed in my mind that it was around 4. My fault. Not surprising given that I'm still recovering from surgery for cancer and am on strong pain relief. Bear in mind that all I had was a note in my diary and that clean and clear communications seem to be totally beyond the capacity of the appointments system. Without the appointments letter I don't know who to contact especially on a Sunday. I am extremely upset by this whole debacle and still desperate to get the treatment I have been expecting.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing feedback and I am really sorry to hear about the delays and your experience which is very unsatisfactory.

Please do email me with your details and I will follow this through for you so that we ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment. My email address is julie.pearce1@nhs.net. Please do accept my apologies.

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